Paso Robles murder suspect shot victim 10 times

February 12, 2014
John Steven Danner

John Steven Danner

A Paso Robles man charged with murdering his mother’s boyfriend shot the victim at least 10 times, according to court records filed by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. [Tribune]

John Steven Danner, 23, shot and killed Billy Don Law, 47, on Feb. 7. Law lived with Danner and Christine Ruda, Danner’s mother and Law’s girlfriend in the 700 block of Kalu Mine Road.

The shooting resulted from a late night fight between Danner and Law over the use of candles in the house that lacked electricity. Danner initially said he shot Law in order to protect his mother. But, he later told investigators that he shot Law out of fear and should not have done so.

During the verbal altercation between Law and Danner’s mother, Danner grabbed two handguns and threatened to shoot Law. Law then said “Oh yeah?” and approached Danner.

Danner shot Law several times, causing him to fall motionless on his back. As Law was lying on the floor, Danner shot him two or three more times, according to Danner’s friend Robert Little, who witnessed the incident. Law suffered bullet wounds to the head and body.

Ruda also suffered a bullet wound to the bicep, and Danner and Little drove her to a local hospital. A doctor there informed law enforcement that he was treating a patient with a bullet wound.

Danner will appear in court Thursday for his arraignment.



Didn’t know the dude. What I do know is he was 23 and living with his mother and her boyfriend. What I also know is he found a bobcat attacking his chickens (he lived in a rural area) and after he stunned it with a brick, he picked the unconscious creature up by the legs and swung its head into a boulder over and over until dead. No need for that- another bobcat will now get the chickens, it’s a rural area. 2 weeks later, he shoots a man 10 times as he lay on the floor already down. People who hurt animals are dangerous to people.


I have known the Danner family my whole life, they are as close to me as family. Personally I believe that Johnny was protecting his mother…I have heard too many stories about Law to feel any differently. My thoughts are with his mother at this time, in an abusive relationship or not she lost two people that she cares for. It is such a shame for such a loving soul to have to endure so much pain and heart ache.


At what point do we escape taking responsibility for our behavior? A social program may have changed the date of his death, but that situation was an invitation to disaster! The guy was abusive, the son was feeling powerless to protect mom, and there we go. He is still responsible for his behavior even if he had a good reason. Understanding doesn’t preclude responsibility for one’s behavior. And a social program? From what money? Who pays? Are you willing to pay his electric bill? Grow up!

the guy paso

Hey doc, it was tongue in cheek, not to be aken seriously. In their words, ludicrous.

Relax and fire one up, pretend you are on Denver.


Nothing like a little Oedipus complex to ruin your day.


There has been much speculation that the shooter’s mother was in an abusive relationship with the victim and the shooter was defending his mother; if that is true, then it would stand to reason that the shooter wanted to “make sure” that the abuser never came near his mother again, which, if this case is about an abusive partner, the shooter did accomplish. Was John Danner fearful for his own life to the point that he possibly “knew” that if he didn’t kill Billy Law that Mr. Law, should he recover, would come back to attack Mr. Danner? Speculation, for sure, but it seems like there is a whole lot more to this story then can be reported on as fact.

the guy paso

Ya see, if there was a social program that provided for free electricity, this guy would still be alive. Big Brother has failed again.

Russ J

There is a program for free electricity. It comes in the form of Electric Vehicle charging. The wealthiest of our society can afford Electric cars and they get subsidies and power from the masses.